Politics & Government

Rep. Thompson says he will not vote in favor of proposed GOP health care bill


Glenn Thompson says he will not be voting for the new health care bill the way it stands.

The 5th District U.S. congressman from Howard Township came to the legislature after a long career in health care. He is one of a number of Republicans who have said they cannot get behind the American Health Care Act, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.

“I have read the American Health Care Act and cannot support the bill in its current form,” Thompson said.

He remains convinced the Affordable Care Act must be replaced, but does not think AHCA is the way to do it.

“Obamacare must be repealed, but I have concerns with any proposal that would increase costs for older Americans,” he said. “As a former licensed nursing home administrator, I also need better assurances that services for our most vulnerable populations will not be jeopardized.”

The Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan group that crunches the numbers for the legislature, delivered a score that said while the AHCA would save the country $337 billion over a 10-year period, 14 million people would lose health coverage within a year and that number would rise to 24 million by 2026.

“Under the legislation, insurers would be allowed to generally charge five times more for older enrollees than younger ones, rather than three times more as under current law, substantially reducing premiums for young adults and substantially raising premiums for older people,” according to the CBO report.

Thompson said there is still work to do to find a good alternative.

“While I believe the House bill contains a lot of good, it is a work in progress. I have met with the House leadership and committees of jurisdiction throughout the week to express these concerns and advocate for additional changes to the bill. I stand by my principles that health care reform must lower costs, increase quality and ensure that rural populations have access to care,” Thompson said.

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce